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Fitbit is shifting up. To your ears. A long way off from the wrist-based fitness trackers the business is well known for, the $129.95 Fitbit Flyer wireless earphones are chic, simple, sweatproof, and deliver rather good sound quality for an initial foray into audio. They face very stiff competition over the board, but a comfortable, secure fit and powerful bass-boosted music lets the earphones match other, competent names in the field.
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A Fitbit for Your Ears
The Flyer earphones can be found in two colors: Lunar Gray and Nightfall Blue. Both are attractive, with metallic accents on the earbuds and control box (rose gold for the Lunar Gray and gunmetal for the Nightfall Blue). The cable connecting each earpiece is flat, with an adjustable clip that slides along the midpoint of the wire to lessen slack and bouncing if you are active.
There’s a three-button control box nearby the right earpiece, with buttons for adjusting volume, answering calls, and cycling through your playlist. The proper earbud holds a tiny power button that’s also used to initiate pairing. It’s a somewhat strange location, and slightly inconvenient when you wish to quickly switch off the energy; most wireless earphones with an inline remote integrate the energy and pairing functions into among the buttons on the remote, instead of putting those controls on an earpiece.
Fitbit carries a protective pouch, a micro USB charging cable, and a range of eartips, wings, and fins in order to customize the fit to your liking. The default fins have a set, faceted condition that slots in to the ridge of your ear; you can swap them out with an increase of secure wings for a tighter fit. After somewhat of experimentation, we could actually get yourself a very secure, comfortable match no awkward pressure or annoying wiggling.
Focused on Fitness
Contrary to everything you might expect from a Fitbit product, the Flyer can’t measure your heartrate or track your steps, just like the Samsung Gear IconX or Jabra Elite Sport earphones. They just play music, probably because these were designed to be considered a companion accessory to the Ionic, Fitbit’s debut smartwatch. But even without the special tracking, the earphones were evidently designed with fitness at heart.
They have a hydrophobic nanocoating and an IP67 rating, making them sweatproof. You may get them as wet as you want, nevertheless, you shouldn’t put them on (or any non-diving-specific earphones) in the pool, given that they don’t seal off your ears enough to keep water from getting back in and protecting against you from hearing your music properly.
You can pair the Flyer with two Bluetooth devices at once-a feature that emphasizes potential use as an Ionic accessory. Essentially, this gives you the choice of a phone-free workout because you can directly play music from the smartwatch. To be fair, you can pair any Bluetooth earphones with the Ionic, but whether you will keep them linked to the smartwatch as well as your phone as well will depend on how well they are able to handle multiple devices.
Fitbit estimates battery life to be six hours, although effective battery life will rely upon which kind of music you play and at what volume. The Flyer doesn’t last quite given that the Jaybird X3, which boasts eight hours of battery life. It will be plenty of for even the most strong workouts, though, with a lot of additional listening time to spare.
Without the specific fitness features, the Flyer’s performance finally boils down to sound quality. For Fitbit’s first foray into audio, the sound is surprisingly strong and well-balanced. The earphones enable you to toggle between two sound settings: Signature, for everyday listening, and Power Boost, which amplifies bass for all those thumping workout playlists. We’ve discovered that Power Boost supplies the best results for providing you exciting sound throughout your workout, regardless if it makes the entire sound signature a lttle bit less balanced.
The earphones released some satisfying bass with Power Boost on. They handled our bass test track, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” with out a hint of distortion even at maximum volumes. The kick drum hits sound pleasantly thumpy despite not making head-rattling vibrations in Signature mode, but with Power Boost you truly get some good solid rumbling for a thrilling sound.
Yes’ “Roundabout” provides common sense of the sound signature. It’s largely balanced, with hook focus on the low-mids and high-mids. The classical guitar notes in the track’s opening come through clearly, but lack the bigger frequency existence to provide much more when compared to a hint of the texture of the string plucks. The electric bass sounds punchy in Signature mode, with a nicely rounded occurrence that lacks very deep resonance. The vocals come through prominently in the mix, but don’t overcome the percussion. Power Boost provides bass a lot more slappy, funky presence, nonetheless it pushes the bigger frequencies of the vocals and high hat from the spotlight.
Industrial music distinctly advantages from Power Boost being fired up. The driving guitar riff in KMFDM’s “Ultra” is energetic and prominent in the mix, however the bass drum hits backing it lack a lot of their power and the entire sound isn’t quite as frantic and oppressive since it should in Signature mode. Start Power Boost, however, and it becomes a wonderfully sludgy, angry cacophony that properly antagonizes your ears with thumpy thrashing. The vocals lose a few of their occurrence in this mode, but they’re still simple to discern in the mix.
Comparisons and Conclusions
Fitbit has made an excellent first attempt at fitness-friendly earphones in market that’s already saturated with them. The Flyer’s fitness angle doesn’t extend beyond a gym-friendly, sweatproof design with heartrate monitoring or workout tracking, and its own integration with the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch is little not the same as any other Bluetooth earphones. However, its sound is powerful and rich, suitable for keeping you motivating whether you’re at the fitness center or on the track.
The Jaybird X3 is an outstanding alternative with the same $130 price, and the Jam Comfort Buds present an extremely appealing value with strong bass response for $50. Also you can spend somewhat more to go completely wire-free with the Editors’ Choice JLab Epic Air. All three alternatives feature gym-friendly, sweatproof designs. Still, the Fitbit Flyer earphones are worth your consideration even without the tracking or monitoring tricks their pedigree implies.